A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO COLLECTD

WHAT IS COLLECTD?

COLLECTD IS A DAEMON THAT COLLECTS SYSTEM AND APPLICATION PERFORMANCE METRICS.

Metrics are measurements that provide a regular data point around a given metric, such as CPU utilization. Metrics data sources generate measurements on regular intervals and consist of:

  • A timestamp
  • A metric name
  • A measurement (a data point)
  • Dimensions (that often describe the host, kind of instance or other attributes to filter or sort metrics on)

Metrics are particularly useful for monitoring. Like a heart monitor that regularly checks a patient’s pulse, metrics provide insight into trends or problems that affect the performance and availability of infrastructure and applications. But a heart monitor won’t tell you why a patient has a sudden issue with their heart rate—you need other means to quickly identify the cause of the problem and stabilize the patient.

Metrics are typically generated by a daemon (or process) that runs on a server (OS), container or application. Each data measurement is delivered over the network to a server that indexes and analyzes that information. It’s important to note that collectd is just performing the collection and transmission of the metrics. It does not analyze or present the metrics on its own. You need a tool, such as Splunk, or open source options like Graphite to collect and visualize the metrics.

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